GSA and No New Plant Growth

Byron26

Hello hope everyone is well,

I’ve got a problem and was wondering if anyone can help.

basically in short Green spot algae is on my plants and I have had no new plant growth in quite a while so was wondering what could be wrong?

my readings are:
tank readings are:
phosphate: 2.0 mg/l (roughly
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20 mg/l
Ph7

aquarium is a 15 gallon with:
1 betta
1 otto
7 neon tertras

i dose seachem excel, flourish, potassium phosphate and also iron and use the seachem dosing guide as a way to dose my plants.

I also added Ludwigia a month ago and they are starting to die so I’m a bit worried of what’s going on and why my plants are slowly dying.

thanks to anyone who can help !
 

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EbiAqua

What a ridiculous and unnecessary dosing chart!

Green spot algae is the result of low phosphate levels, looks like I'm seeing potassium deficiency as well in the Java fern. I also see black brush algae on the margins of some of your plants which can indicate a number of things... excess iron, inadequate CO2 levels, etc.

Seachem makes some great products, but honestly dude I'd ditch the dosing regiment and just go for a high quality all-in-one liquid fertilizer. NilocG Thrive is the most popular and for good reason: it's a very good and highly concentrated fertilizer. It is also formulated to be dosed according to the EI method, so dose according to your plantload/light level/CO2 usage and at the end of the week do a 50% water change. That's much better than 6-7 separate bottles, no?

Dosing Thrive my plants have flourished, it is by far the best fertilizer that I have used and other planted tank eggheads (I say that affectionately) on the forums like Vishaquatics and -Mak- will agree it is probably the best on the market available in the US.
 

JimC22

To add to what Fahn says I've attached a couple links to sites that will give you information about plant deficiencies and what is needed to correct the issues.

Rotala Butterfly | Aquarium Plant Deficiencies
Deficiency symptoms in aquatic plants - Aquascaping Wiki

There are many ways/methods for feeding plants. Your method is one that takes a lot of resources and over time is much more expensive. The method Fahn describes is a good middle of the road that works well and most folks are very successful with. It also is not as expensive.

Just to provide you some information about plant care: Fahn talks about the EI method, Estimated Index. This is one of several methods used for planted tanks. I have attached a couple links to different methods, EI and Perpetual Preservation System (PPS) Pro. You can read about these so you understand how they work for the upkeep of a planted tank. You may want to use one of these.

Planted Tank Fertilizer: Estimative Index (EI) Fertilization Method
PPS-Pro - Perpetual Preservation System

You can do a google search to find many articles on these methods for better understanding as well.

Hopefully this helps.
 

Byron26

To add to what Fahn says I've attached a couple links to sites that will give you information about plant deficiencies and what is needed to correct the issues.

Rotala Butterfly | Aquarium Plant Deficiencies
Deficiency symptoms in aquatic plants - Aquascaping Wiki

There are many ways/methods for feeding plants. Your method is one that takes a lot of resources and over time is much more expensive. The method Fahn describes is a good middle of the road that works well and most folks are very successful with. It also is not as expensive.

Just to provide you some information about plant care: Fahn talks about the EI method, Estimated Index. This is one of several methods used for planted tanks. I have attached a couple links to different methods, EI and Perpetual Preservation System (PPS) Pro. You can read about these so you understand how they work for the upkeep of a planted tank. You may want to use one of these.

Planted Tank Fertilizer: Estimative Index (EI) Fertilization Method
PPS-Pro - Perpetual Preservation System

You can do a google search to find many articles on these methods for better understanding as well.

Hopefully this helps.
What a ridiculous and unnecessary dosing chart!

Green spot algae is the result of low phosphate levels, looks like I'm seeing potassium deficiency as well in the Java fern. I also see black brush algae on the margins of some of your plants which can indicate a number of things... excess iron, inadequate CO2 levels, etc.

Seachem makes some great products, but honestly dude I'd ditch the dosing regiment and just go for a high quality all-in-one liquid fertilizer. NilocG Thrive is the most popular and for good reason: it's a very good and highly concentrated fertilizer. It is also formulated to be dosed according to the EI method, so dose according to your plantload/light level/CO2 usage and at the end of the week do a 50% water change. That's much better than 6-7 separate bottles, no?

Dosing Thrive my plants have flourished, it is by far the best fertilizer that I have used and other planted tank eggheads (I say that affectionately) on the forums like Vishaquatics and -Mak- will agree it is probably the best on the market available in the US.
Cheers appreciate both your help! I think I may use George Farmers all in one fertiliser (I live in the UK so can’t purchase your recommend fertiliser unfortunately) I agree it hasn’t really helped my tank and the Seachem products haven’t done wonders so may switch up the fertilisers as I’m not getting good results and it’s not a convenient way of dosing. So just to confirm you think ordering an all in one fertiliser makes a lot more sense and could fix a couple problems and maybe I should dose extra if there a signs if there a deficiencies still? I use a real low tech tank (internal filter, stock lights which aren’t powerful) so really dosing this much is silly really when I think about it
 

StarGirl

What a ridiculous and unnecessary dosing chart!

Green spot algae is the result of low phosphate levels, looks like I'm seeing potassium deficiency as well in the Java fern. I also see black brush algae on the margins of some of your plants which can indicate a number of things... excess iron, inadequate CO2 levels, etc.

Seachem makes some great products, but honestly dude I'd ditch the dosing regiment and just go for a high quality all-in-one liquid fertilizer. NilocG Thrive is the most popular and for good reason: it's a very good and highly concentrated fertilizer. It is also formulated to be dosed according to the EI method, so dose according to your plantload/light level/CO2 usage and at the end of the week do a 50% water change. That's much better than 6-7 separate bottles, no?

Dosing Thrive my plants have flourished, it is by far the best fertilizer that I have used and other planted tank eggheads (I say that affectionately) on the forums like Vishaquatics and -Mak- will agree it is probably the best on the market available in the US.
Root tabs also?
 

EbiAqua

Cheers appreciate both your help! I think I may use George Farmers all in one fertiliser (I live in the UK so can’t purchase your recommend fertiliser unfortunately) I agree it hasn’t really helped my tank and the Seachem products haven’t done wonders so may switch up the fertilisers as I’m not getting good results and it’s not a convenient way of dosing. So just to confirm you think ordering an all in one fertiliser makes a lot more sense and could fix a couple problems and maybe I should dose extra if there a signs if there a deficiencies still? I use a real low tech tank (internal filter, stock lights which aren’t powerful) so really dosing this much is silly really when I think about it

If you're in the UK you should have access to some high quality stuff as well. Tropica, Dennerle, and The Aquascaper are great products!

In a low tech environment I would start dosing once per week right after a water change. If that doesn't seem to do the trick, dose twice weekly.

Anything in your tank that is heavily affected by the algae I would trim off, but with proper phosphate levels you should see most of the GSA start to disappear.

As StarGirl15 mentioned, root tabs wouldn't be a bad idea either.
 

StarGirl

If you're in the UK you should have access to some high quality stuff as well. Tropica, Dennerle, and The Aquascaper are great products!

In a low tech environment I would start dosing once per week right after a water change. If that doesn't seem to do the trick, dose twice weekly.

Anything in your tank that is heavily affected by the algae I would trim off, but with proper phosphate levels you should see most of the GSA start to disappear.

As StarGirl15 mentioned, root tabs wouldn't be a bad idea either.
I just was trying to remember if you recommended root tabs to me.. But yay I did a thing!
 

Vishaquatics

I'll be honest here, your dosing chart isn't terrible, and while it does take a considerable amount of time, effort, and money, it is doable. If you are serious about this route, I'd have to take a more in depth look at the values you are adding in terms of ppm because I only briefly glanced at it.
But as Fahn is recommending, it is MUCH more practical, cheaper, and easier to use an all in one. Thrive by NilocG is a good one, also APT Complete by 2HR Aquarist AKA Dennis Wong is a great one.

BEWARE of every fertilizer that claims they are all in one. Some fertilizers claim this, but it is just a marketing strategy. For example, some Tropica fertilizers claim they are all in one, but don't have nitrogen or phosphates because their fertilizers are meant to be paired with their Tropica Soil, which does have nitrogen and phosphorous available for the plants to use. The actual fertilizer itself doesn't provide N and P. Additionally, Seachem Flourish claims to be a "comprehensive" fertilizer, but lacks a significant amounts of macros. Sure, it technically has some, but they are a fraction of a ppm - essentially nothing. Please be sure to do your research on the fertilizer you will buy. Planted tank forums are often the best place to look for detailed reviews.

So far, I can assure you that through my personal testing, the Thrive products by NilocG and APT Complete are great products and will work.

Now for the the real issue at hand here: the lighting. I saw that you're using stock LED lighting. This is a HUGE no-no for most planted aquariums. Stock lighting is simply too poor in quality to compete with legitimate planted aquarium lighting.

For a lowtech tank, I'd recommend looking into the Finnex Planted+ or something that is of high quality. I'm not sure what the options are in your country but I'd highly recommend taking a look at all of the high quality options available to you. With a lowtech tank, you don't need the most powerful light out there, but you need one with a quality spectrum that is well reputed.

The problem with most lowtech tanks is that the actual hardware used during the setup is crucial to ensuring the success of the aquarium. For most of my lowtech clients, I recommend using a nutrient rich aquasoil (fluval stratum, UNS controsoil, ADA Aquasoil) or something of that nature to help the plants become established. I also recommend they use the best quality lighting they can afford. Using a good substrate and light help tremendously in ensuring the success of a planted aquarium.

If you cannot buy a high quality planted tank light and still are looking for better lighting, I'd highly recommend going with 6500K Full Spectrum CFL bulbs to light up your tank. Not nearly as powerful and won't be as attractive, but will most likely get the job done. Again, it is quite the downgrade from quality planted tank lighting, but it is decent.

So the game plan: purchase a planted tank light that is well reputed and a high quality all in one fertilizer.
 

EbiAqua

Vishaquatics I though Tropica Specialized Fertilizer contained good levels of NPK?
 

Vishaquatics

Vishaquatics I though Tropica Specialized Fertilizer contained good levels of NPK?

You are right, they do have NPK in the Specialized, but in their very popular Premium fertilizer, they do not have N or P. The premium one is more common in stores so that's typically what people will buy and then find out it doesn't have N or P. Atleast this is what I've heard from hobbyists in the UK.
 

Byron26

If you're in the UK you should have access to some high quality stuff as well. Tropica, Dennerle, and The Aquascaper are great products!

In a low tech environment I would start dosing once per week right after a water change. If that doesn't seem to do the trick, dose twice weekly.

Anything in your tank that is heavily affected by the algae I would trim off, but with proper phosphate levels you should see most of the GSA start to disappear.

As StarGirl15 mentioned, root tabs wouldn't be a bad idea either.
Sorry to bug you I just got the aquascaper fertiliser it says to dose every day should I do that and should I also slack on water changes to increase phosphates or do water changes as normal in your opinion? Also I dose excel so should I do medium dosing? Sorry to bug you and ask you so many questions just want to improve growth and stop this algae!
 

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